Read by Brandon Courtney
Hélène Grimaud transforms Chopin into wild
percussive hammers, the piano her anvil,
my feminine Hephaestus. When not playing,
she maintains a conservatory for wolves.
With Alawa and Zephyr in my pack, I’m sure
I’d feel the same as Hélène playing Polonaise in A,
pushing each chord into a bright military
howl. I see eyes spark within the sound,
a stain of red and yellow. She tracks
the final diminuendo: the world’s
end. The night’s end. She and I know
at best, self can only be self
and wolves are never tame.
I’ve played those same notes alone
wishing I could play them for you,
my ring finger stretching to fill
the alpha male of Chopin’s work. He
wrote for bigger hands, and mine ache.
We are a pack of two, Grimaud and I,
scavenging these grand staff fences
for what is classical, what is evolving;
the polished whorls and loops of our
fingertips marking the keys with our final
coda: I’m here. I’m here. I’m here, like you.